We can all agree that working from home sounds like a dream dipped in lie-ins and Jeremy Kyle, but the reality can be challenging to say the least. Your tracksuit becomes your office wear and your office becomes your bed… before long you’ve stopped buying toothpaste and checking your emails inevitably ends up as 5 hour r**tube-athon. In short, it’s best to keep your freelance hours supervised. Get down to business, these bars won’t let you sleep on the job.
Describing itself as a ‘unique social workspace’ Forge & Co is spread over four floors of a 1950s building. To the untrained eye it could look like an upmarket internet café but the art gallery upstairs suggests otherwise. Drink fresh vegetable juice while chirping with the other hot creatives.
154-158 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU
Probably the coolest thing to happen to Shoreditch in a while, The Ace Hotel not only looks the business but prides itself on helping you get down to business too. An array of experimental juices keep the brain lubed up and an itinerary of guest speakers seek to inspire the soulful, or something like that.
100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ
Daytimes at Shoreditch House are devoted to the freelance dream, ping-pong tables become communal work benches and half price Mondays mean you can still pay your bill even if you spent all day on Facebook.
Ebor Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6AW
The restaurant in The Ace Hotel has plug sockets at every table. So you can eat and present simultaneously. How novel.
100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ
The sort of place the 15 year old you would’ve wanted to kick it on days-off. Milkshakes, waffles and unlimited coffee refills make this media café productivity gold, and free wifi ‘til 2:30am, well you might as well sack off your flat too.
5 Kingsland Road E2 8 AA
A coffee shop in Dalston calling itself a motorcycle café because it’s situated behind the Suzuki garage, bless. Berlin-esque with white brick walls, this is a laid back affair where you can pitch up all day should you not have an aversion to the minimal beats.
507 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, E8 4AU
Perhaps confusingly not a laundrette come bar, but simply a bar. Don’t show up here with your dirties but do expect to destroy your to-do list. Drink cocktails while you type, this place is owned by the guitarist from Radiohead so it’s only right that you rock & roll as you work.
2-18 Warburton Road, London, E8 3FN
An undisputed favourite, Timber Yard smashes it with Has Been Coffee, lightning speed wifi and a plethora of plug sockets. If you’ve got big dogs coming into town book the private meeting room for a fee of £50.
61-67 Old Street, EC1V 9HW
Handily located at Old Street roundabout for the Northern line and a million different bus routes for important last minute meetings. Practicality aside though the Hot Flat-White Russian looks just like any other coffee, so no one needs to know about the rum.
213 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NR
Say you work here and people will assume you either work for the government or the Ministry of Magic. Why ruin the enigma by correcting them?
14-16 Leather Lane, London, EC1N 7SU
Bring your bike, bring your laptop and prepare to get sh*t done. Decent food and ninja baristas keep the whole of EC1 coming back for more. Good name too.
49 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX
Weekends here have been overtaken by overexcited estate agents and Essex boys but weekdays are still sacred. Notorious for its low rates why not book a room if your eyelids begin to droop?
81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU
Yes, a bit of a dork fest but who doesn’t want to pretend they work at Google HQ? This place feels like high school, except there are start-ups instead of stoners. An engine for collaborative innovation, apparently… see you’re cleverer already right?
4-5 Bonhill St, London EC2A 4BX
Breakfast starts at 8am meaning pre-office meetings are more than definitely on the card. Plenty of hotties rock up and get a table for two to share with their laptops, and informative talks and life drawing lessons kick the brain into action.
100-106 Leonard St, London EC2A 4RH
Decent wifi means that the Bling Pig doubles up as more than just a cocktail bar.
58-59 Poland Street, London W1F 7NS
Marginally smarter than its big bro in East London, Timberyard Covent Garden is a coffee shop coming of age. This central London hipster hangout features the same Has Bean Coffee, epic wifi and chocolate and peanut butter brownies.
7 Upper St Martin's Lane, Seven Dials, WC2H 9DL
The service scores poorly here but work it to your advantage and you’ll go undisturbed with a hot water and slice of lemon for hours. The ultimate spot is near to the open fire in the winter, host your meetings like you’re lord of the manner. Tap water all round.
69 - 71 Dean St, London W1D 3SE
A sophisticated work space offering an alternative to meeting important clients in your local Costa. Pay for membership per day or per month and network tediously to your heart’s content.
The Clubhouse, 11- 14 Grafton Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4EW
Sort of like you’re in Hoxton but actually you’re in central London, The Riding House café is all refurbed furniture and parquet floor. Natural light is always good and this place has plenty. Drink teas, eat cake and take things to the private meeting room if you really need to talk shop.
43-51 Great Titchfield St, London W1W 7PQ
A meeting place for the hot and hungry in Notting Hill, The Electric is for freelancers earning a decent day rate. Feet off the seats, there’ll be no slumming it here, just straight up schmoozing and chardonnay.
191 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2ED
Become part of Peckham’s freelance community at this friendly little tapas bar. It’s probably one of the only places where you won’t be judged for ordering a soul plate of cheese all day.
Unit 4, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4Q
Blag your way into Quo Vadis members club and take your laptop game to the spacious bar upstairs. Speedy wifi, seriously comfy seats, plenty of natural light plus a seriously tasty lunch menu, yep, all boxes ticked.
26-29 Dean Street, London, W1D 3LL